January 27, 2011
Nucor Corp. announced today that the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality permit for its direct reduced iron making facility that will be located in St. James Parish.
Issuance of the air permit will allow the company to begin the process of ordering equipment and commencing construction immediately. The permit allows for the construction and operation of two plants with a combined annual direct reduced iron (DRI) production of 5,500,000 tons. Initially, Nucor will build one DRI plant with plans to expand to a second facility.
"We are very excited that we will be able to begin moving forward with the construction of this facility. Our nation's economy needs capital investment projects like this that stimulate job growth and contribute to a sustainable economic recovery," said Nucor Chairman and CEO Daniel R. DiMicco. "We would like to thank Governor Bobby Jindal, Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, local officials, and members of the St. James Parish community for their support of this project."
Direct reduction technology converts natural gas and iron ore pellets into high-quality direct reduced iron used by Nucor's steel mills, along with recycled scrap, to produce numerous high-quality steel products such as sheet, plate, and special bar quality steel. The DRI facility is the first phase of a multi-phase plan that may include a coke plant, blast furnace, pellet plant, and steel mill.
The project will create a substantial number of quality jobs. The project's first phase will create 150 permanent Nucor jobs that earn an average annual salary of $75,000, plus benefits; approximately twice the median household income for that part of Louisiana. During peak construction, 500 jobs will be directly created. If the additional phases of the project are constructed, over time Nucor could have a total investment of over $3 billion and increase permanent employment to more than 1,000. To date the company has invested over $50 million to acquire nearly 4,000 acres of property on the Mississippi River for the facility.